Israel Folau

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 11 Apr 2019, 7:32 am

First topic message reminder :

You may or may not be aware of his latest Instagram outburst.

Personally I find views like his appalling and no matter what he may believe I do not think he should be allowed to say it in a public space like on social media. Hate speech has no place in the world, certainly not in sports and recreational settings and definitely not from role models to the future generations.

Folau should be dropped by the Wallabies and his SR side, and although I wouldn't believe any apology that came from him he should be told why his words are unacceptable.

If you haven't seen it then then here it is https://www.instagram.com/p/BwEWt2uHcLI/?hl=en

And amongst many responses here is what Gareth Thomas had to say:

Gareth Thomas @gareththomas14
I don’t write this with hate or anger after Israel Folau’s comments.I write with sympathy. To everyone who reads it, don’t be influenced by his words. Be the better person and be YOU. Whoever YOU is..Hell doesn’t await YOU.Happiness awaits YOU.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:04 am

tigertattie wrote:If you need to beleive in God for God to save you at the time of the reckoning, do you also need to beleive in God to go to Hell?

Of course you do, you cannot believe in Hell without believing in God. Believe it or not, I am a religious person, I am a Christian Baptist, I do try to go to church, when I can, my wife goes almost every week, and she takes my youngest daughter with her, and most times my eldest will go as well, if she is not hung over from the night before Laugh

I also have a lot of religious friends, who believe differently, but I do respect them, I have a lot of Mormon friends, and they do not believe that you go to Hell at the end, they believe that we are indeed in Hell now, this is how they justify all the suffering in life, people dying, world poverty, hunger, war , ect....

They then believe there are different levels of Heaven, and you justify what level you go into by your actions of your life in Hell.

I do not believe that though, I believe in what I believe in.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:12 am

Mr Fishpaste wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Thats a loaded staement Mr Fish

I'd not say Rugby is fully representaive, but I would say we are not exclusive. Theres a slight but important difference.

It is demonstably exclusive though...people are excluded from professing certain worldviews. One might say that 'you can believe what you like, but just don't make it public', but if one really does believe something, the belief and the profession of that belief are part and parcel of the same thing...

Yes you are right. You should not be afraid to express your beliefs, but, and this is the most important part, you must be aware that what you preach, could cause offence to others, some people do not want to hear it. You must think before you act.

Remember when Abu Hamza was preaching his beliefs, I was deeply offended by it, I was very much in the "how dare he come over here and do that" camp. If you are going to be so staunch in your beliefs, then you really should be aware of the potential outcome.

What I am trying to say is, you also need to have empathy for other people who believe differently. If Isreal Folau tweeted I believe at the start of his sentence, and not you will burn in hell, then he would have had a lot more sympathy I would wager.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:27 am

The issue is that if you believe something and you express that belief, everyone over the world will have a different view on it depending on where on a spectrum they sit.

The world and in a microcosm, smaller communities such as the rugby community, are all based on the views/opinions/beliefs of the masses. There is no right and wrong, there's just differing views.

Who am I, are we, is world rugby, to judge what view is right and what view is wrong?

"Adulterers should be stoned" - now that’s something that the Brunei Rugby union would say is fine, but the Canadian Rugby Union would say is wrong!

The issue for Folau is his views are more extreme than most in the rugby world, he was asked by his employer (due to the platform he's been given off their back) not to publicly voice these views while in their employ, he did it again, he then brings them into disrepute, they are then fully in their rights to can his employment!
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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:37 am

tigertattie wrote:The issue for Folau is his views are more extreme than most in the rugby world, he was asked by his employer (due to the platform he's been given off their back) not to publicly voice these views while in their employ, he did it again, he then brings them into disrepute, they are then fully in their rights to can his employment!

Yes, you are correct 100%. He had previously agreed to keep his beliefs out of the public domain, he reneged on that, and it cost him his job, that is entirely his fault.

But should the people agreeing with him, who have not signed such an agreement also be punished ?

As I said earlier, Israel Folau is not getting the tin tack because of his beliefs, he has been sacked for putting them on social media, when he signed an agreement not to.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:49 am

Quite an argumentative tone LD considering you're not disagreeing to my post!

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 10:54 am

I'm not arguing though, we do you always do this ? Rolling Eyes

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 11:05 am

Ha. Typical. We agree mainly move on from me.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 11:22 am

More from the rfu regarding Billy.
'
The warning will be retained on his disciplinary record for a period of five years and may be taken into account in future disciplinary proceedings," the RFU said in a statement.

"During the meeting the player expressed genuine regret at his public comments and understood that he had caused hurt and offence as a result of his actions.

"He has been reminded of his responsibilities as an England player and as an ambassador for the game, which values inclusivity and respect."

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 11:27 am

That's a bit harsh on Billy in my opinion.

Yes he does need reminding, but to have it on his record for 5 years and to be taken into account for any future disciplinary is harsh.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 11:41 am

I would suspect that it would be more about conduct of verbal abuse ie if he made racist comments like Marler etc rather than something physical. Personally think it's a good strong statement from the rfu though. No wriggle room and hopefully everyone knows now what to expect.

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Post by Mr Fishpaste on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:02 pm

There are several problems with this debate (not the 606 debate specifically - the debate in general)...

1. Incitement to violence
There is a difference between stating what one believes to be the natural consequence of an action, and inciting violence against a person. If I state that "unreformed diabetics are going to go blind and have their limbs amputated" I am stating what I believe to be a consequence of diabetes. I am not inciting violence against diabetics. Likewise, if Folau states that "homosexuals will go to hell" he is stating what he believes to be a natural consequence of their actions. He is not inciting violence against them. Since it is not an incitement to violence, it should not constitute hate speech.

2. The shift in definition of 'homophobia'.
The definition of 'homophobia' has shifted over the last few decades from: Violence and/or unfair discrimination against homosexuals, to 'anyone who even gives the slightest hint of being uncomfortable with or disagreeing with the morality of homosexuality.' While the former definition is reasonable and conducive to a free and fair society, the latter is unreasonable and, in fact, frankly authoritarian and contrary to the values of a free society.

3. The result of the widespread misunderstanding (possibly a willfull misunderstanding) of hate speech and homophobia is that the ARU (and so it seems the RFU) is left with an incoherent policy which on the one hand claims to be 'inclusive' and 'representative of all' while at the same time censoring certain publically expressed opinions while congratulating others. This could be resolved if the ARU: either was genuinely inclusive of differing or even contradictory worldviews; or if it dropped the ruse of being inclusive and openly stated what its world view is and that all those with contrary world views will be censored.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:22 pm

The old catch 22 of how can you be inclusive if you don't welcome views etc of people who actively don't want inclusivity. You welcome all creeds and religions but they frankly aren't welcome to preach hatred.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:28 pm

Did Israel Folau preach hatred though ?

It is not as if he was calling them all infidels that need to be wiped out, he was saying what he thinks will happen to them when they face judgment in the afterlife. It's up to others if they want to believe what he is saying is true.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:45 pm

Yup he did.he believes it fair enough. Let him go preach elsewhere.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:59 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup he did.he believes it fair enough. Let him  go preach elsewhere.

He didn't though. He didn't say he hated them, or thinks they should all be wiped from the earth, like other hate preaching we have seen, he does not say the world needs to be cleansed of these infidels.

He is saying that all drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters will go to Hell. If you are of a religious background, there are only about two I would disagree with in that list, and why would the atheists be offended ?

I have proud standards, I would never cheat on my wife, I certainly would not steal, yes I do tell lies, I like a drink and I have many gay friends and family, I would not worship any idols, unless you count God as an idol.

In all honesty, of that list, where do you think he has gone over the top. The Homosexual one is where he is out of order, and if anything, he is just sending out a warning that he believes needs to be heeded. Here is the instagram link:-

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwEWt2uHcLI/?hl=en

If anything he is being very arrogant in his beliefs, as unless you meet your maker, then how would you know ? He has also quoted some passages from the bible, but no hate. I wonder, if he did not put homosexuals in that list, then would he be in trouble ? chin

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:00 pm

Look, we don't believe in hell. It's a joke...it's codology, it's a fairytale, it's bunk, it's old fashioned clap trap, it's fundamentalist hogwash, it's rustic, backward anti-humanist hogwash, it's childish jibberish.......... but if you tell us we're going there, then you've overstepped the mark and have offended us.

Now get that straight!
Signed: Drunke Atheeist

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:04 pm

You can choose to have an affair LD. No one can choose to be gay. We both agree he shouldn't be posting that rubbish.
The rfu thankfully agree. We still seem to be in a period of time where sports people though seemingly more men are reluctant to be openly gay. Post a like Folous start to show you why. On reasonably good authority I know 2 current rugby players who are gay but not out. I suspect it'll be once they retire when it'll be known more widely. Sometime s society is slow to move but sport can bring these things more to the fore.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You can choose to have an affair LD. No one can choose to be gay. We both agree he shouldn't be posting that rubbish.


Yes, that is where we agree. Gay is just a form of love, you cannot help who or what you fall in love with, and the age old saying, God is love. But do you disagree with the rest of his categories ?

Firstly, he does not preach hate here. Lets get that one out of the way. Secondly, take the homosexual out of that list and tell me if you disagree ?

He went against his agreement with airing his beliefs in public, especially the standing he has as a world wide sports star. He got the sack for that. Which is correct, but I do not agree that he hates everyone, or anyone who does not agree with him. To me, he is showing a form of responsibility because of his arrogance, that he feels he needs to warn these people, because that is what he strongly believes, he wrong, very wrong on the homosexual reference, but the rest....hmmmmm, that leaves a lot for debate in my opinion.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:We still seem to be in a period of time where sports people though seemingly more men are reluctant to be openly gay. Post a like Folous start to show you why. On reasonably good authority I know 2 current rugby players who are gay but not out. I suspect it'll be once they retire when it'll be known more widely. Sometime s society is slow to move but sport can bring these things more to the fore.

Sorry, you added this after I replied, yes I agree, sport should, and could be used as a tool to support gays and lesbians, but that is what the rainbow thing is for, is it not. I suppose though it is up to the individual whether they want to "come out" or not.

To me it would not make one jot of a difference with regards to a persons sexuality, to paraphrase a popular song, you are what you are. The whole rugby team I support would still get my 100% support if they were all gay, although I do not know how they would take to me saying that. I am also strongly against the opinion that you would go to hell for being gay, what a load of rubbish that is.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:22 pm

I don't believe in hell so I disagree with it all. He s preaching hate as he's saying homosexuals and the rest will go to hell.
There's still too many backwards people in the world that are homophobic, racist islamophobes etc etc. If he believes in that bull and repeats it he's preaching it.
Again I think we're broadly in agreement.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:28 pm

Have you read the instagram post No 7&1/2 ?

It does not come across as hatred to me, just arrogance in his beliefs, so arrogant that he needs to warn them. Warning somebody is not hate.

I take it you are atheist ? As you do not believe in Hell ? Or you are not Christian ? Then if this is the case, then how can you be offended by something you do not believe in ?

That is a genuine question by the way. OK

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:36 pm

Yup I've read it. I read it as hatred. And I tho k he's bang out of order to express that given his position. I'd think hes scum if it was a guy in the street saying it let alone in his position. He's got a bizarre take on Christianity and one which is hopefully dying out. Look up an article where richard Coles speaks about homosexuality and his belief. These things can be put in a better way. For some reason it won't let me copy the link.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:39 pm

7 - you so quickly blurt out 'islamophobes' but say there are too many backward people in the world...meaning, I assume, people like Folau, who expresses opinions on a religion you don't share. You'd need to study Islam a bit as Folaus big NoNo list is quite similar to the teachings in Islam. Too many Islamisists in the world?

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Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:42 pm

You cannot choose your sexuality but likewise, for the most part alcoholics don't choose that path either. Adulterers make those choices but fornicators? What if you're a person of faith that just doesn't believe in marriage, both you and you're partner are also banished to the well heated afterlife. Who hasn't lied? The person that says they've never lied is, by that very act, a liar. Theft and adultery are choices, I'll give Christianity that one, you're given free will and if you choose those paths by the rules that are set you're in for fire and pitchforks. What constitutes idolatry? Worshipping a sporting hero or a musical star? Atheists, now there's a subject I can comment on from a personal point of view. Atheism is not a choice, I never chose that route in life, it's not something that was foisted upon me either. It's simply impossible for me to believe in what I perceive to be fairy tales, fear inducing indoctrination from a time long gone.
Sorry, I digress. My point, I think is, for the most part, people cannot help their failings, they cannot help being deeply flawed when viewed by a certain outdated set of rules, laws, life standards. So did Folau choose to be indoctrinated with these rules and the strong desire to preach his beliefs? I doubt it, he's no more at fault for his flaws than I am for mine. He's not a bigot, he's IMHO utterly deluded but his statement should be seen as that. The delusional rantings of someone that knows no better. Not hate speech, labeling it as that dilutes what hate speech actually is.

There, sorry for taking up your time that you'll never get back if you read this but it's lunchtime and I've grown weary of work.

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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:42 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:No one can choose to be gay.

Not true.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:44 pm

Nope. As I said people are welcome to have their religion. If sonny Bill was saying the same about homosexuals I'd be saying he's gone too far as well.as it is he was nearly run out of town for not wanting to promote a bank.i don't have a hard rule to say you practice your religion in public I think you've gone too far. But there are lines.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:45 pm

Another person who believes in conversion therapy miaow?

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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:48 pm

No not at all. Not in any tangible, definitive sense of 'curing' someone. And from a moral/ethical standpoint, I think it's pointless at best, evil at worst. But then, presumably, there have been some 'success' stories from conversion therapy, in quelling themselves and their possible personal happines for the sake of fitting in and/or avoiding persecution. Hard to make sweeping statements really - but 'believe' in it is a bit of a strange on to answer...

But your understanding of sexuality and love is very, very simplistic, that's all - and very much in line with the PR tropes of the day.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:53 pm

Are you homosexual miaow?

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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:53 pm


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Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:55 pm

There are lines for you, 7 - a non Christian. But not for the kinds of Christian that manifest themselves in people like Folau. They have their lines. What you see as an ideal society, they see as society with problems...spiritual problems. You have the right to believe spirituality, warped or otherwise, should have no place in constructing societies values. They say that spirituality (abstract belief systems) should have a place in constructing values. They are part of society, you are part of society.
You can if course criticise and argue passionately in opposition to Folau's beliefs. But what I don't wish to ever accept in My society is the notion that you (in the rhetorical sense) get to decide that he doesn't have the same right and public outlets to argue passionately against your beliefs.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:59 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup I've read it. I read it as hatred. And I tho k he's bang out of order to express that given his position. I'd think hes scum if it was a guy in the street saying it let alone in his position. He's got a bizarre take on Christianity and one which is hopefully dying out. Look up an article where richard Coles speaks about homosexuality and his belief. These things can be put in a better way. For some reason it won't let me copy the link.

OK, but where do you stand on the rest of his views ? Seriously, if you just take the homosexual reference out, would you be as outraged ? There are some points where I think, hmmmm, OK. But there are other points I think, yes you are correct, and as a Christian, I agree.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:00 pm

He absolutely does fly. Never argued against that.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:02 pm

Do you think drunks should go to hell/will go to hell, Lord?

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Post by Mr Fishpaste on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You can choose to have an affair LD. No one can choose to be gay.

I dispute that.

Firstly, there is no conclusive research about the causes of homosexuality, and genetics research still finds a stronger case for the genetic origins of alcoholism than for homosexuality.

Secondly, even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that a homosexual predisposition is involuntary, it would still be as involuntary as LD's underlying polygamous heterosexuality which would motivate him to commit adultery...and yet he still exercises choice in the matter of whether or not he actuality acts on any adulterous inclination. Furthermore, there are a whole range of predispositions, whose genetic origins are equally, or more established than homosexuality that we don't count as valid excuses: for instance predispositions towards alcoholism, drug addiction, psycopathy, narcisism, and paedophilia (I'm not necessarily morally equating any of these things with homosexuality, I'm merely stating that they have as much or more reason to be justified by the "I have no choice" excuse as homosexuality). Hence, we only accept the 'I have no choice' validation of an action if we have already determined it to be morally acceptable beforehand.


Last edited by Mr Fishpaste on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by Mr Fishpaste on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup I've read it. I read it as hatred. And I tho k he's bang out of order to express that given his position. I'd think hes scum if it was a guy in the street saying it let alone in his position. He's got a bizarre take on Christianity and one which is hopefully dying out. Look up an article where richard Coles speaks about homosexuality and his belief. These things can be put in a better way. For some reason it won't let me copy the link.


I thought you didn't approve of hate?

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:08 pm

SecretFly wrote:Do you think drunks should go to hell/will go to hell, Lord?

Nope, as I am one every weekend. Very Happy

I think people who cheat on there vows before God is wrong, I believe stealing is wrong, I have never thought about worshiping idols, sex before marriage, come on get with the times, look, there are a lot of values that I hold in very high regard, I have always steered myself with the ten commandments, and getting drunk, or being gay and sex before marriage are not on there. OK

The strongest values I have is with regards to my family, I would never cheat on my wife, I would always do my utmost to give my family what they needed, I would not look at my neighbour and wish I had what he had, if he had something I thought was worth it, I would go and get myself that something. I have always, and will always respect my parents, and people more learned.

The only thing I do not really stick to is keeping the Sabbath holey.Crying or Very sad

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:22 pm

We're animals. And in that, I do not mean to belittle us. Being an animal and a human one is a bit of a lottery win in my mind. We are a privileged bunch no matter how challenging our personal lives. Not everybody gets to be a living entity and fewer of them get to be humans.....

Anyway, that preamble is just to pad out my main point...marriage is an artificial construct - humans and their natural, genetic, evolutionary urges are not. Affairs are as natural as a sun rising in the morning or a leaf falling from a tree in Autumn.
I often do laugh at diehard anti-religionists who often times still try to cling to this 'fairytale' concept that somehow or other Faithfulness is a natural moralistic and noble desire within the human beast. People who 'cheat' on their spouses are still given the frown of death by supposed secularist societies. Faithfulness in marriage is neither noble nor moral, it's simply a tool developed over the millennia to establish workable communities. We operate mostly on instinct still - but have moral rule books to make ourselves believe we ain't animals.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:53 pm

SecretFly wrote:Affairs are as natural as a sun rising in the morning or a leaf falling from a tree in Autumn.I often do laugh at diehard anti-religionists who often times still try to cling to this 'fairytale' concept that somehow or other Faithfulness is a natural moralistic and noble desire within the human beast. People who 'cheat' on their spouses are still given the frown of death by supposed secularist societies. Faithfulness in marriage is neither noble nor moral, it's simply a tool developed over the millennia to establish workable communities. We operate mostly on instinct still - but have moral rule books to make ourselves believe we ain't animals.

Sorry, I disagree. When I took my oath of marriage, before the eyes of the lord, when I said til death do us part, I meant it.

Now, just because I disagree, it does not mean I am right, it's just what I believe. I will always love my wife and my daughters, and there is nothing I would do to jeopardise that. I am in it for the long run, I promised my wife on my wedding day, and I promised the almighty. It's a path I have chosen.

I do not believe affairs are natural, if you fall out of love, and into love with somebody else, that is natural, but you do the right thing, you end one, and start another. It's what I believe. I believe being faithful is an act of both nobility and morality.

But anyway, I do not want to go off topic, just to put us back on topic, I do not think Israel Folau was preaching hate.OK


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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:00 pm

Mr Fishpaste wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup I've read it. I read it as hatred. And I tho k he's bang out of order to express that given his position. I'd think hes scum if it was a guy in the street saying it let alone in his position. He's got a bizarre take on Christianity and one which is hopefully dying out. Look up an article where richard Coles speaks about homosexuality and his belief. These things can be put in a better way. For some reason it won't let me copy the link.


I thought you didn't approve of hate?

For some reason No 7&1/2 will not answer any of my questions either, I think he just might be one of those Millennials who like to jump on the bandwagon and shout their outrage from the rooftops as soon as anything controversial has been said, he is looking far too much into what Israel Folau has written in my opinion.

Although he is bang on about the homosexual bit. OK

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You can choose to have an affair LD. No one can choose to be gay. We both agree he shouldn't be posting that rubbish.
The rfu thankfully agree. We still seem to be in a period of time where sports people though seemingly more men are reluctant to be openly gay. Post a like Folous start to show you why. On reasonably good authority I know 2 current rugby players who are gay but not out. I suspect it'll be once they retire when it'll be known more widely. Sometime s society is slow to move but sport can bring these things more to the fore.

Who are they?

I heard a rumour that there are a couple of straight players currently playing in the women's game.


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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:32 pm

One key point that is lost in all of this - as LD is alluding to - is the way in which the debate is framed. It focuses solely on the 'homosexual' mention in Folau's post, and that - above all else - is the damning part. As someone said yesterday, you have the BBC misquoting/exacerbating that one key element to fit a narrative of gay-bashing, and of course it is the part that every media outlet leads with. Even if - as Fly says - the abstract notion of Hell isn't actually believed in by the vast majority of people - gay or straight or otherwise - who are rounding the wagons on Folau. Nor, indeed, is their focus and care on protecting the relatively small, but still significant, number of Christians who are homosexual or not straight, and who must struggle viciously when confronted with the notions Folau raises.

But Folau isn't necessarily coming at this as an anti-homosexual stance. He's not a fascist, looking to cleanse or purify the world  - as far as I know - through violence and hatred. He actually stands for something, believes in it, and it informs more than simply his outlook on sex and relationships, but provides a template for both corporeal and societal life, as well as more cerebral, spiritual, and moral attitudes and guidance as well.

At its best, religion gives a person 'everything': most importantly, in fact I'd' say right at the top of the list, it assuages the fear of death, which is an absolutely HUGE element of selfhood and humanity. Human burial and mysticism surrounding the afterlife has gone hand in hand with the human development of tools, and certainly by the time we began to settle and create civilisations. No doubt it existed long before then as well. The fear - no, the utter terror - that is experienced when quietly contemplating your own finite existence, that your psyche, the interior 'person' you live with every waking moment of every day, will decline and then die and be gone forever, is one that mind struggles to really deal with. The mind protects itself at all cost - something like the ego was used to explain why, for instance, people engage in self-destructive or aggrandising behaviour, to 'protect' the part of their conscious mind that cannot accept reality for what it is. Sadly, alcoholism is a choice, to an extent. It requires the human being to actively pursue and continue destroying themselves with alcohol - even if it is an addiction. I understand the PR campaign to say 'it's not a choice' as it removes a sense of morality from it, as in many ways shaming someone already in the grips of addiction does less than nothing (eventhough it can be a useful societal tool to convince people from engaging in risky behaviour in the first place). Our collective understanding of the mind is now buoyed by neuroscience, rather than just psychology, where we can locate and understand the neural mechanics in a rather simplistic, but still illuminating manner, that helps explain even further how and (to an extent) 'why' human beings do certain things. And when it comes to something like the fear of death, religion and spirituality offers the most wonderful answer: you won't die, the ancestors are the stars/the aurora/you have a soul and it will live forever with God, our Father and Creator of the Universe. It is the most pacifying disempowerment possible: you will become infantile, protected, and live forever in total bliss when you die. Not only is death no longer terrifying, but it is something to perhaps even look forward to.

The reality is, though, different mystic systems and answers to the meaning of life and the afterlife have competed with each other for a long, long time. Because spirituality still needs a corporeal body to be passed on to other people/manifest itself in a worldly way. I see Folau being criticised for his tattoos - most people would understand this as a form of prophetic control, as much of the Bible is. Abstinence is a key aspect of religion - Buddhism, for instance, seems like most 'focused' and clearly-thought-out of the main 6 religions. It accepts that life is suffering, death is inevitable, and although its belief in reincarnation and Karmic consequences perhaps jars with our understanding of science, our decomposing bodies certainly DO give life to other living things, be it insects or flowers. Abrahmic religions likewise suggest abstinence as well as moderation in other areas. Tattoos have been a right of passage, a masculine coming-of-age ritual across the world. It's a way of experiencing deep pain, and remembering both that pain is a key aspect of life everytime you see the scar - if it's a symbolic tattoo of someone who's died, it's a way of venerating them. Take away that ritual and you remove a KEY element of spirituality from converts and/or non-believers in your land. Alongside the more 'sensible' elements of abstience that are designed for societal peace - like don't steal, don't sleep with your neighbour's wife etc. - there's the element of conversion in many of the 'rules' of Abrahamic religion. Clothing, food, special days of worship/rest, certain practices. Like banning tartan in Scotland after the Jacobean uprisings limited the notion of clan identity, as well as the desire for a pan-Scottish rebellion. It's a power grab: and the reason Islam is replacing Christianity is because it's the 'best' at providing strict, non-negtioable rules (the Qu'ran is the word of Allah, the Hadiths are some of the most regressive texts, religious or otherwise, you'll ever read). Something as simple as the call to prayer at 5am can be all you need to 'create' a social form of that religion. As we're seeing in both the Middle East and indeed in Britain, Islam offers are more thorough map of life - from Shariah Courts, to specific clothes and food - in a way Christianity's Old Testament doesn't. And certainly the New Testament does its best to diminish much of the Old Testament, leading to incoherence when it comes to a unifying belief system: how can you love your neighbour if you're told to stone people?

Finally, then, Christianity's attitudes to sex are not merely gay v straight. But this is the way the public debate is framed. THIS is the success of pressure groups and PR, to repeat a debate over and over again in the language of the common man: tabloids have done it for decades, it's Sky's model as well. The BBC now panders to it in a completely disatisfying way as it nearly failed to adapt to the rise of online and satellite media. It's the attempt to gain influence and mainstream credibility - charity work, positions of power, all sorts of sleazy and dodgy dealings to 'get' that platform - and to then GO for the narrative as often and as SIMPLISTICLY as possible. Most people are half listening to the news, not thinking critically, or perhaps don't care: because that's the modern world, we have less and less stake, but more and more consumption of the telling of, the world around us. If you can make something black and white, good and bad, or cut it down to a few key points, you win the narrative: and so that's what happens here. Instead of Folau's actual beliefs, you merely get 'Folau thinks gay people will burn in hell'. No alternative. No message of following God and Christian teachings. It pits heterosexuality against homosexuality. And most people aren't going to fall on the side of hating gay people these days - if it's a choice between 'accept both' or 'perscute one', most people opt for believing/supporting the former, even if that isn't actually the salient issue. That's the power of REDUCING the narrative to a binary. Christianity is in fact against MANY forms of heterosexual sex: it reduces to sex to within a marriage, i.e. a significant and binding commitment. It limits human sexuality because it understands the dangers of rampant liberation - human beings guided and pursuant of sex and other similarly powerful desires, rather than focusing on abstience and other elements. Human beings are flawed: it's not a failing to 'find God' in order to find structure. Up until the last 40-50 years, Christianity openly opposed sex before marriage, non-procretaional forms of sex (i.e. oral, anal), yet now that feels anachronistic, even if other religions, and some Christians, still cling to them solidly. But because that's not easy to get across in a news bulletin, it instead becomes 'gay v straight, who's side are you on?'. And most people no longer hold the reverence or the moral code that would see them openly align themselves to the latter, particularly in the current climate of mob rule and the implications for speaking your mind.

Unfortunately, the current mode of unifying/universal belief in Britain/America etc. is one of secular pluralism. It's basically an acceptance that Enlightenment progressivism - the rise of science and civilisation in Europe that replaced the divine power of the Church - is no longer the 'best' spiritual, moral, personal, and societal guide for human beings. Firstly, it resulted in colonialsm - the exploration, domination, exploitation, and ownership of non-Enlightenment lands and people. It resulted in slavery and many of the systems of the Enlightenment - education, science, even sporting - relied on a freedom and liberty that came from the domination of many, many more people and places away from the shores of concentrated power. The increase in democracy - long seen as both an ideal and a necessity for human progression - in replacing the feudalistic rule of titles with representative democracy led to a rise of populism, which in turn became fascism and communism in differing parts of the world. Both resulted in mass slaughter in both their own and other countries.

We're still very much in the wake of the devastation cause by the wave of Progressivism, that held the belief that things would slowly get better, and keep getting better, forever and ever. The 'post-ideological' politics of the 2nd half of the C20th seems like it's very much a thing of the past in the age of populist identity politics in the West, and the increasing economic power - which absolutely threatens the West's relative luxury to be able to have such ethical discussions - elsewhere in the world holds vastly different views that are no longer looking to adapt to pluralism, but replace it. But by and large, this is why Europeans no longer believe in themselves, their families, histories, and communities en masse and pick and choose aspects to identify with. Progressivism's failure is why middle class and decently educated people are effectively apologists for some of the negative results of a pluralistic approach: because Enlightenment values are no better than the people who were oppressed by them, so terrorism is no different to wars on terror. The current belief system - that everyone is entitled to an opinion, everyone is equal etc. - is in fact the absence of belief. It's a resignation to the fact that 'we' - whoever that may be - didn't 'win' - again, whatever that may be - for long enough to convince everyone else to give up their ways o thinking, beliving, and living, and conform. That is why modern day 'progressives' (it's a tricky word to use as progressive politics is both future-focused but also deeply regressive, focusing on censorship etc.) fail to identify Folau for what he is: someone who actually believes in a fundamental form of Christianity. Because that part of Western culture has largely died out: it's one of the elements of the Enlightenment that has been shunned, forgotten, and replaced in favour of the very things Folau is bemoaning - hedonism in the form of alcohol and sex among them. Because, of course, hand in hand with Progressivism was Capitalism...and people who would profit from freedom of choice...

But what Progressivism did was enable human beings to improve and suggest improvements without the gravitas of God behind them, nor indeed the limitations of scripture. It feels like we're losing that now. Folau is free to believe what he wants to believe, and clearly has found the form and structure of fundamentalism an illuminating and satisfying one. But sadly the sanctity offered to religious belief over humanistic values is one that sees the latter fail to object to the prevailing winds of pressure groups: it takes something like a primarily Muslim community in Birmingham to kick up a fuss about homosexuality and transgenderism taught to primary school children for it to be given ANY credence. Not only because there is an actual ethical, religious, social, and geographic community of people in Birmingham, in the way there just isn't among most white communities anymore, certainly not in cities, but also because pluralistic secularism doesn't know which one it wants to support more: Muslims' right to abide by their religion's socio-ethical codes, or LGBTQ+ peoples' right to promote the notions of sexual and relational difference from hetereosexual monogamy in the form of story books within the education system (let's not even get on to free religious schools, what a mistake that was by Blair). This is where pluralism's failures are stark, where the absence of actually believing in anything other than tolerance fails; even when vastly outweighing communities who do believe staunchly, secularism is failing to adjudicate and 'manage' plurality like many assume it can/always will.

When we talk about issues like this, people like 7.5 will trot out the reductive cliches they've learnt. Perhaps they even believe them. Certainly, on the face of things, they make 'sense'. We all deserve to be loved, and love is love. But is that's all it is? Because sexuality isn't necessarily love, nor vice versa. Homosexuality isn't a belief system, a multi-faceted culture has sprung up around peoples' desires to have sex with other people. Primarily, we're talking about lust - the desire for sex and the attraction to others. Then we're talking about relationships, and the role of caring for and supporting a partner, and eventually starting a family. The reductive media narrative is 'it's all about who we want to love/marry'. But of course things are never that simple. Human beings crave power and influence. They want to see the world made in their image (the irony...) and to be hospitable to them.

In the words of Albert Camus: "The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.” Those who champion equality and tolerance will be replaced by those who are currently/historically disempowered, but who strive for power. Perhaps they'll get it, perhaps not.

The reality is, as well, LGBTQ+ is not a unified moral belief system. If Christianity is conflicted, then you can absolutely say that what's replaced it - politics, in many ways, sport and celebrities in others - is far, far more divided and ethically unclear. Even within male homosexuality, there's a whole host of tiers of 'types' of men, all based on sexualisation and sexual worth, with varying degrees of 'severity' - you obviously get loving commitment, but you also get chemsex orgies, kinks, and all sorts of sexual acts, beliefs, and desires that the Bible was warning against. But also, the issue of gender has completely split the 'movement' - with lesbians feeling directly ostracised and threatened by trans women. Whenever someone tries to get reductive and tell you it's just about one person loving another person: it's not. It's about legitimising the whole movement, whatever that may be, whatever the implications. It's also never about personal freedom: just as Folau wants, and is entitled to, try and share his views and beliefs, so too do pressure groups and/or single issue groups. LGBTQ+'s influence is not merely in helping gay people struggling to come out, as it was for so long; it's not an annual celebration and public demonstration for visibility and acceptance in spite of a hostile world. By and large, Pride has been commercialised and made a wet lettuce by many corporate interests: but then, as with Progressivism, there's always someone looking to profit commercially with the rise of freedom of choice, irrespective of whether they're gay or not. But you also see the rise in the media, in journalism, in the annals of power - you see legislation introduced to actively favour certain people under the guise that they're oppressed, because of that growing influence - through narrative, money, power itself, and control of population. It's not just about two people loving other people when you have schools teaching 6 year olds about transgenderism through animal stories - where drag queens are held up as societal figures for children to emulate because...well, I cannot for the life of me justify that for one moment.

Because sexuality is something you choose, in a way. Sexuality is not only fluid, but it's also not particularly 'healthy'. We like to think of sex and love as one and the same, but no, often sex is used to get out all sorts of psychological traumas and pain, whether gay or straight. Sex can be one of the most beautiful and harmonious, and creative, things human beings can do - or the most destructive and hateful. Likewise, relationships can be 'loving' but still be abusive, insufficient etc. We do choose who we love - unrequited love occurs very often. We also settle for people and end up loving them. Relationships are entered and sustained for often very different reasons by different parties - some for monetary and societal power, some out of loneliness, some simply for children etc. People also dabble. Particularly when they're young. That's why the focus is ALL on children - for the generation who has grown up with screens, so those born after millenials, really, after 1995 - they are wedded to this form of PR in the way older people are not. They believe the narratives, are far more susceptible to groupthink of their peers (if not older generations) and will absolutely be the soliders for the various identity warriors of the next 10-20 years. They've been worked on in a totally cynical way - from things like Buzzfeed and then more 'grown up' forms of media, like Momentum and Novaro Media (or whatever the tragic right wing equivalents are!).

Everything is a construct. That doesn't mean it's equal to any other construct. Christianity offers a form of heterosexual coupling which, by and large, works well. It can also be terrible - just like any other form of relationship. But it's based in abstience, socialisation, family, and communal values,; focusing on something more than merely sexual promiscuity and the pursuit (and worship) of materials and idols. All of those are DEFINITELY values of the current age, and certainly have been since the 90s - ironically, aspects of Folau's post that go ignored.

The whole thing - the whole reductive discussion around Folau - fails to grasp the one salient point that he actually believes in God and Biblical teachings. Presumably because he experienced something that really drew him to 'understand' spirituality in a way you can never, ever know unless you go through it. As I said, born again Christians often discover that through deep pain - no idea if that applies to him or not. But as long as it's presented as a 'gay v straight' discussion, as if he's just a homophobe and so are you if you dare defend him, rather than advocating a specific way of life based on very much humanistic principles, in order to pursue a sense of spirituality and connection/worship to God, there's no possible way it can ever be a 'fair' discussion. Because the West/pluralism is as culturally conditional as any American or Soviet Union broadcaster or population is/was (and it's wedded to certain capitalist beliefs like personal freedom). The point about brainwashing or ideology is you can very rarely see it - just as many people don't understand why they believe what they believe. Until you know why you think what you think - the typical answer seems to be 'because I'm a good person' when discussing ideas around identity, inequality etc., which says it all in terms of public personas and beliefs - you'll never understand enough the depths of another person's.

LGBTQ rights groups (along with many, many others) have worked their way in to mainstream organisations out of fear on the part of those orgs. Fear for being regressive or homophobic. Fear of bad press and loss of business in a turbulent/transitional time for most businesses with the rise of the internet. And when it's rainbow laces, and a nice, sexless, bland kind of inclusiveness, there's little threat. But let's not pretend that's the extent of these groups' motivations. And let's not pretend this is a fundamental, long-standing, ethical practice of Rugby Union to embrace all people, of all kinds. If you fit in to a rugby squad, to the core ethics, all forms of identity don't matter: this is not fitting in, it's changing what already exists. Rugby Australia shouldn't throw its lot in with appeasing pressure groups - apparently it was pro gay marriage during the debates there last year, which is insane that they think it's appropriate to posit an opinion as an org on that legislative debate (imagine if they'd opposed it!) - nor should it have sacked Folau in my honest opinion, as they shouldn't have signed up to these censoring contracts in the first place. But there we go. There is no permanence to progression, and sadly this is progression in completely the wrong way. I 'get' it - personal liberation for anyone who's been repressed is amazing, and so it feels like more and more liberation is the answer. Extend that out in to the world, let people be freeeeee. It's a logical but misguided approach - and these people get used. And I can't help but feel the current debate around schooling in Birmingham and elsewhere is foreshadowing of a backlash against pluralism without an overiding sense of unity.

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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:33 pm

Pretty much the last thing I'm going to say on this as it took my the best part of half an hour to bash that out.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:41 pm

There are several layers to this.

The post by design demonises homosexuals (and drunks, adulterers, etc). As a heterosexual atheist, it doesn't personally bother me in the slightest. I don't think there's a hell to go to. However homosexuals have a history of being demonised by wider society. This is despite it being perfectly possible for there to be consensual, homosexual relationships which make two people happy and don't impact anyone else in the slightest. It's right that these people who can go about life and relationships without harming themselves, each other or third parties should be entitled to the same rights and acceptance as the rest of us, whether you believe homosexuality is a choice or not.

The comments aren't an incitement to violence against homosexuals, but while the comments are just one person posting on their social media and it would be lovely if every homosexual could look at it and just roll their eyes, they are a historically persecuted group, they are still persecuted in some countries in the world and by some individuals in all countries. Some homosexuals are still very insecure in themselves and their sexuality and it's easy to see why posts like this would be hurtful. As rugby is a game that wants to spread its appeal and be available for all, it's a bad look to be associated with these views.

This isn't a free speech issue. Folau is free to post what he wants on his social media within the confines of the law. The website hosting it is free to decide whether or not it wants to host that material. And the ARU and their sponsors are free to decide whether they want to continue to pay money to promote someone who promotes what they deem an unsavoury view, as they may then be linked to that view by association.

This also isn't an attack on religion. If Folau had posted passages about god's love then this wouldn't be an issue. The issue is that Folau has attacked a persecuted minority and told them to change to his world view or they'll suffer eternal damnation. And in light of all the above I think it's fair that the ARU discipline him for this.

Pivoting to Billy Vunipola, his post was slightly different. He didn't say homosexuals would go to hell. However he did "other" homosexuals by saying that "man was made for woman". He can believe that man was made for woman if that's what he read in a book, but again the comment is insensitive and not in line with what is socially acceptable in 2019. It's a lesser offence and also his first. It's right that he's been talked to and right that he apologised for offence caused (and not the view, which he doesn't have to apologise for), and I would agree that no further sanction is required.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 5:26 pm

Lot of posts since I've last looked and this and a few directed at me so I'll try my best to cover any questions.
When did you dec9de on your sexuality fishpaste? Have you done research or just have sex with various people and sexes before deciding which you'd prefer?

Which questions have I ignored LD and I'll answer them.
Don't think it's fair to name them collapse.


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Post by Pie on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 5:53 pm

miaow wrote:Pretty much the last thing I'm going to say on this as it took my the best part of half an hour to bash that out.

do you have a job?

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Post by Pie on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 5:56 pm

Yeah if Izzy had been smart he would have done the God loves everyone kind of diss but he is all fire and brimstone. I will miss watching him play but not when Wales play Aus at RWC.

I think Billy got away with it massively, and its pretty hypocritical of the RFU. But then are you going to shoot the only horse you have that is a game changer in that position with a RWC imminent lol

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Post by miaow on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 6:18 pm

Pie wrote:
miaow wrote:Pretty much the last thing I'm going to say on this as it took my the best part of half an hour to bash that out.

do you have a job?

Haha, yes, fortunately.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 6:58 pm

Pie wrote:
miaow wrote:Pretty much the last thing I'm going to say on this as it took my the best part of half an hour to bash that out.

do you have a job?

She's a nurse Smile.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 7:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Lot of posts since I've last looked and this and a few directed at me so I'll try my best to cover any questions.
When did you dec9de on your sexuality fishpaste? Have you done research or just have sex with various people and sexes before deciding which you'd prefer?[

Which questions have I ignored LD and I'll answer them.
Don't think it's fair to name them collapse.
Folau? He expressed a point of view, saying that in his fairy tale world certain groups of people will go to a dark place in the afterlife... and now he's being hounded out for targeting the one particular group. If he was advocating stoning them then you all would have a point. Why is it appropriate for you call him scum just because he doesn't agree with you? Modern day liberalism folks.

For the record; I'm a drunk, fornicator, adulterer, atheist. I'm not the least bit offended - don't all go crying on my behalf now...

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